I have tried to learn C++ and Java before, but the syntax confused me. I definitely will be learning them after, but for now, where is the best place for a guy who has programmed before to learn python? Do you concur with me learning Python? Should I stick with Java or C++ before?

  • Which languages do you already know?
    – Maxpm
    Mar 28, 2011 at 0:03
  • Since the syntax confuses you,go for "Anatomy of programming languages" and once you are done,go for "The Object-Oriented Thought Process 3ed".
    – Gandalf
    Mar 28, 2011 at 12:23
  • possible duplicate of How do I learn Python from zero to web development?
    – gnat
    Sep 15, 2013 at 9:47

6 Answers 6


Start by reading existing questions and answers on this topic:

  • One of the links is dead (deleted question), could you please update? Also, would you mind explaining more on what these links do and why do you recommend these as answering the question asked? "Link-only answers" are not quite welcome at Stack Exchange
    – gnat
    Sep 16, 2013 at 6:55

The MIT: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming is a great place to start. Though I don't know what experience you've had with programming, the video lectures, assignments, practice tests, etc. seem like compelling learning tools, especially if you've had problems learning a new language in the past.

If you do not excel in a semi-classroom environment, Jonathan Khoo's links provide several good resources as well.


I would just start with the Python Tutorial, but nothing beats experience.

After you learn the basics, program something! If you can't think of something to program, Project Euler can give you something to do. You'll be forced to learn some new math tricks at the same time.

After you get comfortable with whatever you're currently doing, learn how to use another feature/library in Python.

It also helps to have others look at your code to tell you when you're doing something wrong. If you know anybody in person that can look at your code and give you feedback, that will work best.


"Dive into Python 3" is the most complete and excellent introduction to the language and concepts.

see: http://www.diveinto.org/python3/

There is also now obsolete first edition, which was covering Python 2.x "Dive into Python"

Both of the books you can either read it on-line, download ebook or buy printed book.

see: http://www.diveintopython.net/


In my opinion, the best place is "The Python Tutorial" available in the python documentation site. Its simple and straight forward.

Other beginner book is: A Byte of Python. And after that you can take up "Thinking in Python" by Bruce Eckel (who has recommended Byte of Python for beginners).


My answer isn't so much about where you can learn python but more about the issue of going back to C++ and Java later. A very wise person once told me that anything worth having is worth fighting for. When learning something new it always takes a bit of time. But before we know it it becomes manageable then easy. I know it probably feels frustrating as its easy to get started with programming with the idea that you're going to be able to develop great applications fairly early in. It becomes a little discouraging sometimes when this doesn't happen. I would recommend hanging in there and sticking with what you've already started. Once you've gotten the hang of one of them (Java will likely be a little easier to learn first) then start in on the other or Python if you wish. The struggle is definitely worth it in the end. There are many out there that have been in your shoes. Good luck!

  • how does this answer the question asked?
    – gnat
    Sep 16, 2013 at 10:40
  • OP: "Should I stick with Java or C++ before?"
    – Kenneth
    Sep 16, 2013 at 13:45

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